Customs Duty on Gold when Returning to India

So, let’s assume you are an NRI who’s been staying abroad for a long time and have accumulated gold jewelry in purchases.

How can you bring your gold jewelry to India? Here are the options.

According to General Exemption No.162 of Indian Customs Rule,

In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 25 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962) and in supersession of the notification of the Government of India in the erstwhile Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) No. 171/94-Customs, dated the 30th September, 1994, published in the Gazette of India, vide number G.S.R. 733 (E), dated the 30th September, 1994, the Central Government, being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby exempts goods of the description specified in column (2) of the Table below and falling under Chapter 71 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975), when imported into India by an eligible passenger, from so much of the duty of customs leviable thereon which is specified in the said First Schedule, as is in excess of the amount calculated at the rate as specified in the corresponding entry in column (3) of the said Table and from the whole of the additional duty leviable thereon under section 3 of the said Customs Tariff Act.

1. Gold bars, other than tola bars, bearing manufacturer’s or refiner’s engraved serial number and weight expressed in metric units, and gold coins. – Rs. 300 per 10 gms.

2. Gold in any form other than at S.No.1 above, including tola bars and ornaments, but excluding ornaments, studded with stones or pearls.
Rs.750 per 10 gms.

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The exemption is subject to the following conditions, namely:-

(i) the duty shall be paid in convertible foreign currency;
(ii) the quantity of gold imported in any form shall not exceed ten kilograms per eligible passenger; and
(iii) the gold is either carried by the eligible passenger at the time of his arrival in India or is imported by him within fifteen days of his arrival in India.

How much jewelry can one bring through Indian airports?

A passenger residing abroad for more than one year, on return to India, shall be allowed clearance free of duty in his bona fide baggage of jewelry up to a weight, of twenty grams with a value cap of fifty thousand rupees if brought by a gentleman passenger, or forty grams with a value cap of one lakh rupees if brought by a lady passenger.

Source – Indian Customs Baggage Rules

What is the customs duty on imported Gold in India?

Customs import duty on Gold in India is at 12%.

India raised the import duty on gold or non-refined mined gold, to 11.85% from 9.35% and to 11% from 8.5% on silver on July 4th, 2019.

Source – Reuters

So, in summary,

  • Maximum amount of Gold NRI/PIO/OCI can bring to India – 10 Kilograms. (Verified)
  • Gold has to be declared and duty paid for all jewelry. (Verified)
  • An eligible passenger male is allowed to bring duty-free jewelry worth up to Rs. 50,000 and female passenger up to Rs.1,00,000. (Verified)

You will have to declare the jewelry and show your documents proving eligibility, namely OCI, NRI, PIO status.

Source – Indian Customs Gold & Silver Import Rules

2 thoughts on “Customs Duty on Gold when Returning to India”

  1. We are NRIs since 21 years and recently travelled to India on holiday and my family (self, wife and daughter) were wearing 3 chains (10gms each) and 1 bracelet (20 gms), aggregate weight 50 gms, we were intercepted and the customs officer at mumbai levied a duty of Rs 80,000 stating that since we are coming within 1 year, duty at 44% is payable. We resisted but were threatened and intimated to pay. What is the recourse available to us?


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